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  1. #21

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    I've definitely grabbed a lot of tips here on lightweight. Still searching for the right tent....i've narrowed down a few tarptents that I am looking at. Right now with food and water I think...without having a scale in the house that my weight is around 25-30 lbs. Last year I carried a 50lb pack into virginia

    My average used to be about 40 lbs...which I learned from my father...who still carries 40 lbs on every trip he takes...with his external frame pack....we are working on it though.

    Not that I could not carry 40, 50, or even a 60 lb pack if I needed to. But as someone said before...you'll enjoy the day so much more with less weight. Alky stove is a great way to lose a pound and generally lighter clothes. No cotton flannel pants combo god those are heavy when wet.

    NO HATCHETS. NO BOWSAWS. NO GLASS BOTTLES. NO 2 LB BAG OF WHITE RICE. NO 2 LB BAG OF LINGUINI!!!!!

    Just a few polite suggestions

  2. #22
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    Not an ultra, as I enjoy my comforts, but something to be said for shaving as much wt. as possible. When I did my thru, I hung my pack on the scale at Amicalola and it weighed 69 lbs. By the time I was in Maine, I was under 30 lbs. fully loaded. With an external frame pack, a 4 lb. bag, and a 2 lb. thermarest and a 3.5lb tent.
    The biggest secret to reducing weight is simple, other than raingear, if you don't use it every single day at least once, send it home!!! It's that simple.

    My upcoming hike will be using the same pack, but I've managed to shave 3.5 lbs. off my bag and shelter. There's something to be said for a properly fitted external frame pack, it may be heavier, but once you get it dialed in, 25-30 lbs. will feel like 15.

  3. #23
    Registered User medicjimr's Avatar
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    Well I have been playing around with what I can afford now, I have a thin fleece sleeping bag if you want to call it for summer and just bought some small plastic bottles for downsizing stuff like camp soap, foot powder, etc It will happen with time.

  4. #24
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    I once hiked with my friends homemade kit backpacks w/o a hip belt . Because we had just resupplied - it topped out just over 30lbs OF COURSE w/ food and water. My pack w/ full suspension was about 5-6lbs heavier.

    Lesson learned.

    Unless you are fully committed to staying under 30 with everything, all the time, it is WAY more comfortable to carry a little more with a comfortable pack.

    IOW- there is more to comfort than weight.

    And another way to say it: 25 lbs in a ultra pack feels the same as 35 in pack with good suspension. 30+ lbs in a ultra pack feels like a 50lb pack cutting into your shoulders.

    BTW, I wanted to switch back after a mile, but not him!

  5. #25
    Registered User medicjimr's Avatar
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    Unless you are fully committed to staying under 30 with everything, all the time, it is WAY more comfortable to carry a little more with a comfortable pack.

    Thats my thoughts exactly, I see some of these ultralight packs with no suspension or padding yes I suppose you can roll up your bed roll for that But I use the BA air core so wouldn't work. I like the REI Flash 65 has padding stays and only ways 3 lbs so that is what I will be shooting for for now.

  6. #26
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicjimr View Post
    Unless you are fully committed to staying under 30 with everything, all the time, it is WAY more comfortable to carry a little more with a comfortable pack.

    Thats my thoughts exactly, I see some of these ultralight packs with no suspension or padding yes I suppose you can roll up your bed roll for that But I use the BA air core so wouldn't work. I like the REI Flash 65 has padding stays and only ways 3 lbs so that is what I will be shooting for for now.
    What are you talking about...staying under 30? Keep it under 20 for easy hiking.
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  7. #27
    Registered User njordan2's Avatar
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    I section hike the A.T. for one week a year, around 80 miles per trip. My two uncles and I have been doing this for 7 years now, and I love the A.T. and the people I meet on it!

    For one week, with everything I need; food, 3litres of water, socks, tent, et.al., my pack usually weighs around 50 pounds at the start of the week. This is probably about where it will stay.

    I like having a tent with a floor so I can sleep in a torential downpour without getting wet. I have tried the ultralight bottomless tarps or just using a poncho hooch, but when it really starts raining, I have found that you just end up sleeping in a mud puddle and carrying the extra weight you saved in the form of soaked gear. So, I say always bring a tent with a bottom. To save weight, I do not bring any tent poles and use my trekking poles. Also I do not bring tent stakes, just use available rocks or sticks to hold the corners of the tent down. The tent is a cheap $20 dollar jobby that I bought at K-Mart 10 years ago and weights about 1.5 pounds.
    For added camping pleasure I have found a 9foot X 12foot sheet of 0.8mil plastic painting drop cloth works great for making a hooch over the tent with room to sit outside and cook without getting soaked. This weighs less than 4ounces.
    So my tent setup weighs less than 2 pounds and is 100% waterproof. Heck, I even kinda like it when it rains. The sound of rain hitting the hooch or tent is relaxing when one is inside it warm and dry.

    Also a tripod chair to sit on is a must. Mine weighs less than 1 pound. It keeps your rump out of the mud. Diaper rash sucks! It also saves my knees when drawing water.

    One thing no hiker should carry is an i-pod! (IMHO) It is good to just be stimulated by the hike, and if you want, (or can), turn on the radio in your head! I have found that station always plays the songs I want as many times as I want and the batteries never run down, not to mention it weighs nothing!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    What are you talking about...staying under 30? Keep it under 20 for easy hiking.
    Under 30 is still easy for most. I go jogging with my 40lb punching bag in my old REI bag which weighs 6lbs alone.

    Makes hiking with 20-30,33? not so bad.

  9. #29
    Registered User medicjimr's Avatar
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    Ya I am the same way I like a tent me a sketters don,t get along. I like the plastic drop cloth idea lighter than my 8x10 poly and cheaper than sil nylon

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Toro '94 View Post
    other than raingear, if you don't use it every single day at least once, send it home!!! It's that simple.
    I'm not sure it's that simple. There are things you could use a couple times every day, like a camp chair to sit on every night and for breaks, that you don't need. Also things you don't use every day, like a first aid kit, gloves and watch cap in shoulder season, bear bag, batteries, etc that you might want to bring along.

    There is no "here is how it is done" to lightening a load, because we all don't have the same priorites, needs, threshold of discomfort, etc.

    It's a constant balancing act.

    As someone noted above, about age 40 or so, we begin to take going lighter more seriously as knees protest. At the same time, arthritic old bones require a thicker (heavier) sleeping pad.
    Frosty

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I'm not sure it's that simple. There are things you could use a couple times every day, like a camp chair to sit on every night and for breaks, that you don't need. Also things you don't use every day, like a first aid kit, gloves and watch cap in shoulder season, bear bag, batteries, etc that you might want to bring along.

    There is no "here is how it is done" to lightening a load, because we all don't have the same priorites, needs, threshold of discomfort, etc.

    It's a constant balancing act.

    As someone noted above, about age 40 or so, we begin to take going lighter more seriously as knees protest. At the same time, arthritic old bones require a thicker (heavier) sleeping pad.
    Good points Frosty. But I will say leaving a camp chair home is a pretty easy way to reduce pack weight.

    A first aid kit needs to be carried, but with the right mindset and some wilderness first aid training, can be reduced substantially over what some hikers carry.

    Light weight gloves and a light hat are in my kit almost year round - my sleep system is pretty light and I often sleep in the hat with my quilt even in the summer months. The gloves do double duty as pot holders. The hat sometimes does double duty as a cozy for my freezer bag meals.

    Beyond emergency items, essentials like bear bag cord and extra batteries that you may not use every day, and enough warm clothing for a bit lower than the coldest conditions expected, I think El Toro has it about right. Even with some of the essentials you can lighten up a bit - you probably won't need over 40-45' of cord, more than one set of extra batteries, etc.

    Switch to a high quality photon light and save weight on both the light and batteries. Choose the tiniest bottle possible to repackage camp soap - you only need a drop or two, if at all. I use a breath savers dropper bottle, and always end up bringing back extra from a section hike. Take a few pages of Rite In Rain paper for journaling instead of a whole journal. Use an MSR snow stake instead of the orange plastic trowel. Use a small bandana instead of a pack towel. Try to make things as multi-use as possible, within reason.

  12. #32
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Took the family on an overnight backpacking trip for vacation. I carried 5 liters of water, food for two, two down quilts and pads, a lantern, and both a one man and a three man tent.

    I broke all the UL rules
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    Took the family on an overnight backpacking trip for vacation. I carried 5 liters of water, food for two, two down quilts and pads, a lantern, and both a one man and a three man tent.

    I broke all the UL rules

    Where did you fit the quilts? That would take up all the space in my pack I think

  14. #34
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    Took the family on an overnight backpacking trip for vacation. I carried 5 liters of water, food for two, two down quilts and pads, a lantern, and both a one man and a three man tent.

    I broke all the UL rules
    Quote Originally Posted by Homer&Marje View Post
    Where did you fit the quilts? That would take up all the space in my pack I think
    Carried both my wife's pack & my pack
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  15. #35
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    Switching to lightweight gear (17 lb packed weight before food and water) gets me out on the trails and looking forward to the walking. That's not ultralight, but it's light enough to make the whole experience enjoyable. In the "good old days" when I was younger and more foolish, I thought I needed 50 lbs or so to get through the weekend.

    I'm not going back to the old days. No way!!

  16. #36
    Registered User Cool AT Breeze's Avatar
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    Keep in mind it costs about 100.00 a pound to replace gear in your pack.That is if you are replacing it with light weight quality gear.
    The trail is ever winding and the party moves every night.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Toro '94 View Post
    Not an ultra, as I enjoy my comforts, but something to be said for shaving as much wt. as possible. When I did my thru, I hung my pack on the scale at Amicalola and it weighed 69 lbs. By the time I was in Maine, I was under 30 lbs. fully loaded. With an external frame pack, a 4 lb. bag, and a 2 lb. thermarest and a 3.5lb tent.
    The biggest secret to reducing weight is simple, other than raingear, if you don't use it every single day at least once, send it home!!! It's that simple.

    My upcoming hike will be using the same pack, but I've managed to shave 3.5 lbs. off my bag and shelter. There's something to be said for a properly fitted external frame pack, it may be heavier, but once you get it dialed in, 25-30 lbs. will feel like 15.
    My frameless pack carries 20-25 lbs. very comfortably. It just happens to fit me perfectly and I know how to pack it. Starting out at one pound for a pack and closed cell "frame" automatically cuts off about 3lbs for a frame pack. The only true advantages to a frame pack is that 1) It allows for better ventilation on your back, and 2) It makes a much better backrest in camp. I used them for years, and might again if I had to hike for weeks in hot weather. Oh, they also allow mosquitoes to bite your back through and between the mesh back bands (but Deet will fix that).
    Now the guy who's using an army rucksack has some 'splainin' to do.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by medicjimr View Post
    Unless you are fully committed to staying under 30 with everything, all the time, it is WAY more comfortable to carry a little more with a comfortable pack.
    At my store I usually tell people the pack itself is the last thing they should replace when working towards beng lightweight. This seems counterintuitive because a) replacing the pack itself seems to be a great way to lose pounds rather than just ounces and b) I sell packs for a living.

    But I think it's sound advice for the reason stated above -- until you get the rest of your gear lighter, switching to a frameless pack can be uncomfortable to the point that folks might abandon the whole idea of going lightweight.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
    Now the guy who's using an army rucksack has some 'splainin' to do.
    I think part of the explanation may involve the fact that Wolf is in the Army.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

    http://www.wizardsofthepct.com

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by modiyooch View Post
    My advice to men that feel they have to carry heavy packs is to load rocks. That way you can always unload the rocks.
    My advice to men who have to say the exact same things over and over and over and over and over about lowering pack weight which in itself is hardly rocket science, please try another topic (insert the beating a dead horse video).

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2000 View Post
    until you get the rest of your gear lighter, switching to a frameless pack can be uncomfortable to the point that folks might abandon the whole idea of going lightweight.
    WHAT and go back to hiking their own hike and not converting to the new religion, oh the horror.

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